Succeeding in a city as packed with A-list talent as the Chi is no easy task, but up-and-coming rapper R.O.E. (Rising Over Envy) has no doubt that his tenacity will take him straight to the top – in other words, he’s not planning on putting The Gloves down anytime soon. On his latest single (and first feature), the emcee introduces himself to his soon-to-be fans in the Booth, showcasing his formidable “balance of smart and talent,” as he looks back on his past accomplishments and waxes ambitious about his bright future. A fellow Windy City up-and-comer, Chris Mathien, does double-duty on the mic and behind the boards, summing the headliner’s sentiments up with a soulful chorus and tying the cut together with a quietly intense chopped-sample instrumental. With a retro-informed sound and rhymes as fresh as fine caviar (‘roe,’ fish eggs, get it?) this passionate newcomer’s sure to win plenty of acclaim from our regulars. If you like what you’re hearing, grab a copy of his Rock the Dub-presented debut EP, A Pen. A Mic. A Dream., when it drops in January 2010.